Category Archives: behavior

Stunning duets in a neotropical wren

There’s a new paper in Science, brought to my attention by Ritchie S. King in the New York Times, that describes an amazing behavior in plain-tailed wrens (Pheugopedius euophrys). The species is neotropical: found in tropical forests in the mountains of Peru, Ecuador, and Colombia.  Here’s a photo from Wikipedia: What’s amazing about this species is that […]

Computer chip replaces cerebellum in a rat

The amazing results reported in this piece from New Scientist, “Rat cyborg gets digital cerebellum,” haven’t yet been published in a scientific journal, but were reported in a meeting in the UK.  The details are sketchy, but scientists apparently built a computer chip using information from the inputs of a rat’s brainstem to its cerebellum […]

A striking case of predator avoidance in fish

This YouTube video, sent in by a reader, shows how a school of fish reacts to hunting behavior of blacktip sharks (Carcharhinus limbatus) off the Maldive Islands. Notice how the fish seem to move in a coordinated fashion, almost as one, and how they tend to group behind the sharks, where they’re less liable to […]

The pace of life: a crazy idea for an experiment

“The pace of life” was the title of a 1976 paper in Nature in which Marc and Helen Bornstein did something very simple: they went to 15 cities in Europe, Asia, and North America, and simply measured the rate of walking of unwitting subjects over a marked, 50-foot stretch of pavement on sunny days of […]

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